NORTH Somerset Council has hosted two budget-friendly Party in the Park events earlier this month.

The first event took place on Friday, August 4, at Clarence Park West in Weston. This was closely followed by the Portishead event on Friday, August 11, at the town's Lake Grounds.

The much-anticipated children's events were part of a wider programme by the Holidays, Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which provides fun, free activities for children who access benefits-related free school meals. This is funded by the Department for Education.

North Somerset Times: There was free food and drink on offer.There was free food and drink on offer. (Image: Dan Lawton at Dream Creative Media)

The North Somerset Council website reads: "HAF provides sessions during the school holidays for children who are receiving benefits-related free school meals.

"The HAF fund focuses on children and families who are struggling and live in areas of depravation and poverty.

"In 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marcus Rashford led a campaign for further support for families during school holidays. He encouraged parents and carers to sign their children up to the HAF sessions.

"HAF funding is provided by the Department for Education (DfE). After a successful trial, the HAF programme is now being funded for a three-year period which started in 2022.

"The sessions aim to develop lifelong skills, self-confidence and resilience. It makes sure that all children have access to activities, education and equal opportunities."

The open-to-all events drew in an estimated 2,000 people, many of which took part in a wide range of activities, including facepainting and circus skills, to name just a couple of the things visitors were able to take part in.

There were also information stands detailing how to access debt support, as well as health and lifestyle stands from North Somerset's Public Health team.

Fruit and drink were provided for free by a local cafe in Clarence Park East.

North Somerset Times: There were a wide range of activities on offer.There were a wide range of activities on offer. (Image: Dan Lawton at Dream Creative Media)

One parent who attended said: "It has been a wonderful day for us and the kids. There has been so much to do and the fact it’s free is so helpful."

A Crunchy Leaves event is in the works for October, the details of which are yet to be released by North Somerset Council.

Once decided, the council will publish more information on their website and through their social media pages, such as Facebook.